State of the Nation

Fashion parades with pomp and ceremony
Fade into their own past with a 21-gun salute
As the nation presents arms
Praying Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika
Its leader at the podium on a TV monitor
High above families  getting over
What their day has brought forth.

Frowns over a clot that won't dissolve
While the blue light shines over the police station
    ... the murder rate down by 8, 6 percent
Winces from a tube draining unending fluid
While the green light of starboard swings in the breeze
    .. irrigation schemes are being rehabilitated
Silent in resignation with the lump they couldn't remove
While the traffic lights turn red for pedestrians
    ... Madiba is receiving very good medical care
Tense with the rhythm that gallops unbridled
Longing for the amber of a Langeberg sunset
    ... building a better life for all.

The van Graans joke over times past
Laughing above sonorous presidential tones
   .. and the job creation drive.
Ag man, foei tog, alles sal regkom
You were the bloke to fix anything
You'll fix this one with hugs and kisses.
  .... there is no easy road to freedom
The Wilsons stare in unfocused gaze
Beyond a blurred horizon
Silenced by shock and unspoken uncertainties
Unable to connect with realities
Prisoners of privilege en route to the guillotine

Until curtains are drawn
And the medicine trolley arrives - a tumbrel
Bringing them all down to earth
With one of those three times a day
While he carries on about the nation
In the midst of problems as yet unresolved
  .. body, mind and soul have been freed.

Parliament rises with a standing ovation
As visitors leave and we prepare to dream
That all of us will be better tomorrow
Since the one always present remains.

February 2011

In a hospital ward as President Zuma presents his State of the Nation address.


Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika - God bless Africa

Ag man, foei tog, alles sal regkom – Oh man, for shame, all will come right.

Top - Parliament, Cape Town
Bottom - Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town